Miralay (Colonel) Reşat Bey, the son of renowned statesman and author Ziya Pasha, was born in Istanbul in 1879. His father passed away when he was just a year old, and his mother is named Evkiye Hanm. Reşat Bey, who had a lifelong interest in the military and served in the Ottoman Army at various command levels after graduating from the Military Academy in 1893, did so with distinction.
Reşat Bey, who took part in the Balkan Wars and the Tripoli Campaign, sustained injuries during the Ioannina Defense. The city of Ioannina left the Turkish protectorate on March 6, 1913, despite a protracted defense against the Greek army besieging the city’s castle during the Balkan War. The city was occupied on October 9, 1431, during the reign of Murat II. Due to his bravery in defending Ioannina, he was elevated to the rank of Major.
He served on the Anakkale Front following the declaration of mobilization in 1915, and as a result of the extraordinary bravery he displayed there during the First World War, he was chosen to lead the 17th Regiment. He played a significant part in freeing Muş from Russian rule while he was the commander of the 17th Regiment, earning the respect of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, the commander of the 16th Corps. He received the Order of Majidi in the fourth and fifth grades, the Silver Combat, Merit, Relief, German and Austrian War, and the Iron Cross. He was then brought under the command of the 53rd Division and given a position on the Syrian Front. He was taken prisoner by the British in 1918 while on this mission. He joined the Istanbul Second Martial Law Military Court after escaping from captivity in December 1919. He arrived in Ankara to join the War of Independence, though, rather than perform this duty.
With the rank of lieutenant colonel, he was chosen by Mustafa Kemal Pasha I and II as the Commander of the 11th Caucasian Division (later the 21st Division). He took part in the conflict between Sakarya and Nönü. He was appointed Commander of the 57th Division on March 1, 1922, after being promoted to the rank of Miralay (Colonel).
The biggest event that Miralay Reşat Bey left in history is the iiltepe incident, which took place on the second day of the Great Offensive and involved the commander-in-chief Mustafa Kemal Pasha personally blocking all roads from Sincanl Plain, one of the most crucial positions that will determine the outcome of the battle, to Dumlupnar. To rid the city of the enemy, the order was given. The Greek Forces, led by General Nikolas Trikopis, successfully mounted a resistance because they understood the significance of this hill. Reşat Bey promised Mustafa Kemal Pasha on the morning of August 27, 1922, that they would take the hill half an hour after the enemy, but when they didn’t, he committed suicide out of sadness and pride at not keeping his word. However, 45 minutes after Reşat Bey’s suicide, iiltepe was free of the enemy.
One day later, Reşat Bey’s funeral was brought to Afyon Sandkl Hospital. He had spent years being interred in this neighborhood’s memorial cemetery. In 1988, his remains were moved to the Ankara State Cemetery. The residents of Sandkl opposed moving the martyr, but they were powerless to stop this choice. The tomb in Afyon Sandkl is preserved even though it is empty.
After his passing, the Turkish Grand National Assembly gave his family the Red Striped Medal of Independence. President of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Atatürk gave his family the surname “igiltepe” when the Surname Law was passed, named after the hill where he took his own life.
On June 22, 1996, the martyrdom, which was erected in iltepe in honor of him and the fallen soldiers, went into operation. At the entrance is a bronze bust of Reşat Bey.
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